Republicans in the Iowa House are backing a special kind of prescription painkiller they say will help cut down on opioid abuse.
GOP lawmakers have introduced a bill to encourage the use of tamper-proof pills for doctors to prescribe for patients likely to abuse.
Such patients will sometimes alter the pain pills for recreational use.
Keota Republican Jared Klein says specially formulated painkillers will discourage that.
“So that people can't crush something and snort it and get high off of a painkiller,” Klein says. “This is allowing us to prevent it because if they ingest it they will get so physically sick they won't accomplish what they're trying to accomplish.”
The bill would require insurance companies to cover prescriptions for the tamper-proof drugs.
Klein says it would be up to a doctor to decide whether a patient is at risk of addiction.
“There are tamper-proof painkillers out there for people who have a propensity to get addicted the first time, or for re-addiction,” Klein says.
Pharmaceutical companies and medical groups back the bill. Some insurance companies oppose it.
The legislation is part of a larger bill to combat heroin overdoses. The larger bill provides greater access to drugs which can reverse the effects of a heroin overdose.